This is a very exciting post for me! It is the first as a part of the Secret Recipe Club and it is also the mark of a great accomplishment! I successfully made a pull-apart roast!
At first, I have to admit that I wasn’t excited about my assigned blog, Cheese Curd in Paradise – it is all the kinds of foods that I never ate as a child growing up and never really liked when I had the opportunity to eat dinner at a friend’s house. My mother always made it a rule to make only fresh food, nothing that require only microwaving or re-warming in the oven, certainly no prepared meals. Once in a while we would get Kid Cuisines at the store, and it was more of a snack than a meal and I could count the number of times we were allowed this novelty over the course of my childhood.
Of course, these childhood food trends crossed over into my adult lifestyle and aside from the first couple years of college, where I ate a bag or two of tater-tots and microwave dinners running between classes and work or late at night while pulling all-nighters. All manner of junk foods and “typical” American snacks and meals crossed my path – but as soon as I was in my own apartment, I quickly reverted back to fresh food cooking and haven’t turned back since. I really did enjoy eating out while going to school too, since those were often the only meals – aside from those in the cafeteria, that were even close to wholesome. There were good, healthy portions of either rice or potatoes, fresh veg and a protein – none of which were slathered in butter or oils and just tasted fresh and good for you, although eating out as a college student was a rare occurrence also.
My own daughter is allowed very little in the way of prepared meals or anything that can be zapped – unless it is while we are out of the house, or we are indulging in a frozen pizza for a lazy dinner one night. I enjoy cooking with fresh ingredients, very little of which come in cans or frozen, and making a fresh meal every night. So this assignment caused a little hiccup in the way that we like to eat at our house. Also being home and not having to work means I have very little interest and need for crockpot meals – on which many of my friends depend, and my husband enjoys making as well. But I was very excited as I dug deeper and looked at nearly every recipe on the blog. There were plenty of pasta recipes that caught my interest and with some prompting from my husband, since we own five crockpots, it would be nice to have a few crockpot recipes that we could enjoy making on those days when we want to go out for the day and would be too tired to bother cooking when we got home but could just enjoy a nice meal that has been bubbling away and cooking while we were out having a good time, spending time together.
As you may recall, a couple of months ago, I tried to make a dry, pull-apart pork roast for pulled pork sandwiches and it was going to take a couple more hours past what was suggested in the original recipe which was also about three hours later than we had planned on eating dinner and while it was very tender, it was certainly not pull-apart. We tried again, using a crockpot recipe, and that one also failed – so I was very interested in her variation of the Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Pot Roast, which was rumored to be a no-fail pull-apart roast!
I have to say Ashley’s variations of the Pioneer Woman’s recipe were very nice and I took a few liberties myself! I used pearl onions, which didn’t hold up to the long cook time, although they tasted great for being mushy. I got a really nice sear on my pot roast before it went back in the pot with the other veggies, beef broth and herbs. I made a simple roux with flour and butter to thicken half of the broth that was left in the pot. The other half of the broth I reserved for storing the leftover pot roast, which ensured that it would remain tender and juicy after we warmed it up.
Serving the pot roast alongside fresh garden peas and biscuits was a great decision and we gobbled up our dinner that night so quickly and intently that nothing but clattering of forks and plates could be heard – it was certainly a success!
Regardless of the impact my childhood has on my food choices now, there are many interesting recipes on Ashley’s blog and I have marked a few more to try – as I said, we have five crock pots and I’m determined to find great recipes to put them to work! For the recipe, click here and be sure to investigate the rest of Ashley’s lovely blog!